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Review by: Roman Jbanov

Accordion Festival, Bucharest - Romania

The first accordion festival in Bucharest, known also as "The sleepless nights of the accordion" took place from September 7th to 9th in the ARCUB Arts Center, and on September 10th in Ploiesti. This event was the initiative of Romanian accordionist Emy Dragoï, with Richard Galliano [picture left].

The year 2006 is the year of the French in Romania. In partnership with the French Embassy, the founders of this festival, Emy Dragoï and the association 'Acordeon Armony Music' decided to invite great artistes from France. The Balkan music has also its charm filled of nostalgic feelings supplemented by the great virtuosity.

Accordionist Ion Bica Dragoi, the father of Emy, opened the festival accompanied by a traditional group and with his small son who was highly appreciated by the crowd. They chose to perform a repertoire in memory of the accordionists Farimita Lambru, Marcel Budala and Ilie Budala. Then the trio of David Rolland on the diatonic accordion played music in the Cajun style of Louisiana. The cousin of Emy also made a performance with a program of traditional Balkan music.

In the second part of the concert a recital by Roman Jbanov, (picture left) from the Ukraine, on a bayan accordion, played transcriptions of classical music by Buxtehude, Scarlatti, Moussorgski, Rossini and pieces by the French composer Franck Angelis and Russians Viatcheslav Semionov, Evgenii Derbienko and Viktor Novikov.

The following day, the audiences heard the French musette style with performances by Alexandra Paris. Roman Jbanov introduced original Russian pieces. Maestro Juan Jose Mosalini played the bandoneon accompanied with the guitar by Argentenian Leonardo Sanchez [picture left]. Their repertoire was the tango with compositions of Astor Piazzola, but also of own compositions of Mosalini and others.

The third day Emy Dragoï performed in the first part of the 'Etno-Fonia Swing' jazz and swing manouche, accompanied by the National Academy of Bucharest, and on the piano by Petrica Andrei, Christophe Lartilleux on the guitar, Albert Gheorghe on percussion, Kuba on double bass, with the contributions of various jazz singers: Irina Sarbu, Iitssor Raluca and Teodora Enache. The program was very varied. Richard Galliano charmed the room with his compositions and his individual style [picture bottom].

The final concert took place on September 10th in the Philharmonic Théatre of Ploiesti. Almost all this festival was recorded by the Romanian television TVR and will be available their internet site:

The aim of this festival was to promote the accordion and related instruments. Emy Dragoï carried this out with a great artistic and musical quality with the assistance of her friends and her family. Maybe a 2nd edition of this festival will take place next year...

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